Diabetes has become one of the commonest lifestyle diseases in India and world over. Initially the disease of old age is now affecting the youth and middle aged also. Earlier the mere diagnosis of diabetes meant the end of the road for both the patient and their caregivers as it meant giving up on favourite foods. But advancement in technology, advent of better drugs and newer ways of monitoring blood glucose are helping today’s diabetics to lead a near normal life.

This metabolic disorder is essentially a pancreatic malfunction causing less insulin production or resistance of tissues and cells to use the circulating insulin. The end result is high blood sugar which causes a spectrum of problems like cardiac disease, stroke, kidney failure, loss of nerve function, retinopathy stubborn wounds that don’t heal and so on. It is thus important to manage the sugar levels to avoid complications.

Just a few careful changes in your lifestyle can help you fight diabetes better.

Do’s and Don’ts:

• Positive mind set gives you energy to tackle this condition whereas negativity fills you with depression. So be happy mentally.

• Eat complex carbohydrates, low fat and high fibre diet to avoid sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.

• Avoid saturated fats and simple sugars/fructose that increase blood sugar levels.

• Fatty food increases body resistance to insulin. Existing insulin becomes ineffective on body cells.

• Eat raw fruits and vegetables after washing thoroughly. This keeps sugar and fat level low.

• Increase protein intake through legumes, grains, fish and low fat dairy products. This fills your stomach and reduces hunger pangs.

• Exercise regularly for 30-60 minutes as it has an insulin like effect on blood sugar. It also burns off excess fat. It can be a walk/stroll/ game/sport/gardening/ dancing etc. keep sweets and biscuits with you in case sugar levels drop.

• Avoid pre-packaged or processed foods as they digest quickly and raise blood sugar levels.

• Maintain proper foot care to avoid ulcers. Poor blood supply and reduced sensation in legs causes stubborn un-healing wounds which may result in gangrene of the foot.

• Tobacco consumption is a big no-no as it affects blood circulation.

• Eat small snacks every two hours like fruits or sandwich

• Eat your favourite carbs like potatoes, bread and rice in limited portions and 2-3 times a week.

• Cakes, mithai, icecreams and other high sugar foods are absolutely banned.

• Cook food in less oil/ghee/butter.

• Have at least 7 hours of sleep.

We all can save us from Diabetes by following a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, weight control and good eating habits. Let’s make it our mantra.

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